Sack officer who rammed cow in police car, says farmer’s partner

A police officer filmed deliberately ramming an escaped cow in his car should be sacked over the “disgusting” incident, the farmer’s partner said.

Beau Lucy, a 10-month-old breeding heifer, sustained a large cut to her leg and is recovering in a barn with other calves.

Home Secretary James Cleverly has asked for a “full, urgent explanation” after a video of the incident in Staines-upon-Thames on Friday evening was shared on social media and viewed millions of times.

Surrey Police received reports that a cow was running loose.

Their decision to use a vehicle came after officers tried a number of options to safely capture the animal over a period of hours and were “extremely concerned about the public's safety”.

But Kate, the partner of the farmer who owns the cow, called the footage “horrific” and told Sky News: “It looked like they tried to kill it.

“Honestly, when I saw the video, I thought he should lose his job. I just thought it was disgusting, I couldn’t believe it.

“I don’t know if it was his decision to drive at the animal or whether he was instructed to, but the police, when they got out of the car looked pretty agitated themselves.”

In the footage, the young cow is seen in a residential street being hit twice by a police car, as a nearby member of the public shouts, “What are you doing that for?”

The animal gets to its feet after the first strike, before being hit again by the car a second time.

The Home Secretary has asked for a ‘full, urgent explanation’ as to why officers appeared to use a police car to ram an escaped cow (Joe Giddens/PA) (PA Wire)
The Home Secretary has asked for a ‘full, urgent explanation’ as to why officers appeared to use a police car to ram an escaped cow (Joe Giddens/PA) (PA Wire)

It then remains on the ground, and officers get out to assess the situation.

Kate said it was regrettable officers had not contacted her partner, other farmers or a vet to use a tranquiliser.

Beau Lucy, an animal weighing about 31 stones (200kg), “wasn’t that out of control, just spooked”, she claimed.

It is understood she may have escaped by swimming across a river from well-fenced Staines Moor where her herd grazes.

Mr Cleverly said it seemed “unnecessarily heavy handed” while BBC wildlife presenter and conservationist Chris Packham asked: “What sort of monster rams a calf?”

The RSPCA described the footage as “upsetting and distressing” and said the police “action appears disproportionate to the situation”.

Warehouse worker Kai Bennetts, 22, of Feltham, west London, said the cow was left with an “open gash” after it was hit by the police car and thrown several metres down the road.

Mr Bennetts, who said he was “disgusted” by what he saw, told the PA news agency: “One of its back right legs had loads of grazes where the skin had come off.”

After the first strike, he said: “It (the cow) tried to get back up, and then they (the police) pushed it back over and blocked it by its neck and top half of his body and so it couldn’t get up.

“Inhumane is all I can say.”

Surrey Police said the matter had been referred to its Professional Standards Department.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct has also been notified and a voluntary referral will be made in due course, a spokesman added.

The incident took place in Feltham, Middlesex (Kai Bennetts/PA) (PA Media)
The incident took place in Feltham, Middlesex (Kai Bennetts/PA) (PA Media)

Members of the public helped to move the cow to a nearby farm in the early hours of Saturday.

Chief Inspector Sam Adcock said: “I know that this has caused distress and I’d like to thank the community for their concern.

“The decision to use the police car is one that was only taken after other methods to stop the cow had failed.

“There will be an investigation into the actions that led to this, but our focus at all times is on ensuring the safety of the public.

“I know there are videos circulating of this incident, which the public may find distressing.

“I would ask that these videos are sent directly to us to help with our investigation.”

The IOPC said: “We have been notified by Surrey Police about this incident and that a referral will be made in due course.

“When we receive it we will carry out an assessment to determine what further action is required by us.”